Women’s Higher Education in the United States


Book Description

This volume presents new perspectives on the history of higher education for women in the United States. By introducing new voices and viewpoints into the literature on the history of higher education from the early nineteenth century through the 1970s, these essays address the meaning diverse groups of women have made of their education or their exclusion from education, and delve deeply into how those experiences were shaped by concepts of race, ethnicity, religion, national origin. Nash demonstrates how an examination of the history of women’s education can transform our understanding of educational institutions and processes more generally.




In the Company of Educated Women


Book Description

Traces the history of the struggle of women to achieve equality in American colleges from Colonial times to the present




Higher Education for Women in Postwar America, 1945–1965


Book Description

Outstanding Academic Title for 2007, Choice Magazine This history explores the nature of postwar advocacy for women's higher education, acknowledging its unique relationship to the expectations of the era and recognizing its particular type of adaptive activism. Linda Eisenmann illuminates the impact of this advocacy in the postwar era, identifying a link between women's activism during World War II and the women's movement of the late 1960s. Though the postwar period has been portrayed as an era of domestic retreat for women, Eisenmann finds otherwise as she explores areas of institution building and gender awareness. In an era uncomfortable with feminism, this generation advocated individual decision making rather than collective action by professional women, generally conceding their complicated responsibilities as wives and mothers. By redefining our understanding of activism and assessing women's efforts within the context of their milieu, this innovative work reclaims an era often denigrated for its lack of attention to women.




"Keep the Damned Women Out"


Book Description

A groundbreaking history of how elite colleges and universities in America and Britain finally went coed As the tumultuous decade of the 1960s ended, a number of very traditional, very conservative, highly prestigious colleges and universities in the United States and the United Kingdom decided to go coed, seemingly all at once, in a remarkably brief span of time. Coeducation met with fierce resistance. As one alumnus put it in a letter to his alma mater, "Keep the damned women out." Focusing on the complexities of institutional decision making, this book tells the story of this momentous era in higher education—revealing how coeducation was achieved not by organized efforts of women activists, but through strategic decisions made by powerful men. In America, Ivy League schools like Harvard, Yale, Princeton, and Dartmouth began to admit women; in Britain, several of the men's colleges at Cambridge and Oxford did the same. What prompted such fundamental change? How was coeducation accomplished in the face of such strong opposition? How well was it implemented? Nancy Weiss Malkiel explains that elite institutions embarked on coeducation not as a moral imperative but as a self-interested means of maintaining a first-rate applicant pool. She explores the challenges of planning for the academic and non-academic lives of newly admitted women, and shows how, with the exception of Mary Ingraham Bunting at Radcliffe, every decision maker leading the charge for coeducation was male. Drawing on unprecedented archival research, “Keep the Damned Women Out” is a breathtaking work of scholarship that is certain to be the definitive book on the subject.




Women in Higher Education, 1850-1970


Book Description

This edited collection illustrates the way in which women’s experiences of academe could be both contextually diverse but historically and culturally similar. It looks at both the micro (individual women and universities) and macro-level (comparative analyses among regions and countries) within regional, national, trans-national, and international contexts. The contributors integrally advance knowledge about the university in history by exploring the intersections of the lived experiences of women students and professors, practices of co-education, and intellectual and academic cultures. They also raise important questions about the complementary and multidirectional flow and exchange of academic knowledge and information among gender groups across programmes, disciplines, and universities. Historical inquiry and interpretation serve as efficacious ways with which to understand contemporary events and discourses in higher education, and more broadly in community and society. This book will provide important historical contexts for current debates about the numerical dominance and significance of women in higher education, and the tensions embedded in the gendering of specific academic programs and disciplines, and university policies, missions, and mandates.




A History of American Higher Education


Book Description

Anyone studying the history of this institution in America must read Thelin's classic text, which has distinguished itself as the most wide-ranging and engaging account of the origins and evolution of America's institutions of higher learning.




The Rise of Women


Book Description

While powerful gender inequalities remain in American society, women have made substantial gains and now largely surpass men in one crucial arena: education. Women now outperform men academically at all levels of school, and are more likely to obtain college degrees and enroll in graduate school. What accounts for this enormous reversal in the gender education gap? In The Rise of Women: The Growing Gender Gap in Education and What It Means for American Schools, Thomas DiPrete and Claudia Buchmann provide a detailed and accessible account of women’s educational advantage and suggest new strategies to improve schooling outcomes for both boys and girls. The Rise of Women opens with a masterful overview of the broader societal changes that accompanied the change in gender trends in higher education. The rise of egalitarian gender norms and a growing demand for college-educated workers allowed more women to enroll in colleges and universities nationwide. As this shift occurred, women quickly reversed the historical male advantage in education. By 2010, young women in their mid-twenties surpassed their male counterparts in earning college degrees by more than eight percentage points. The authors, however, reveal an important exception: While women have achieved parity in fields such as medicine and the law, they lag far behind men in engineering and physical science degrees. To explain these trends, The Rise of Women charts the performance of boys and girls over the course of their schooling. At each stage in the education process, they consider the gender-specific impact of factors such as families, schools, peers, race and class. Important differences emerge as early as kindergarten, where girls show higher levels of essential learning skills such as persistence and self-control. Girls also derive more intrinsic gratification from performing well on a day-to-day basis, a crucial advantage in the learning process. By contrast, boys must often navigate a conflict between their emerging masculine identity and a strong attachment to school. Families and peers play a crucial role at this juncture. The authors show the gender gap in educational attainment between children in the same families tends to be lower when the father is present and more highly educated. A strong academic climate, both among friends and at home, also tends to erode stereotypes that disconnect academic prowess and a healthy, masculine identity. Similarly, high schools with strong science curricula reduce the power of gender stereotypes concerning science and technology and encourage girls to major in scientific fields. As the value of a highly skilled workforce continues to grow, The Rise of Women argues that understanding the source and extent of the gender gap in higher education is essential to improving our schools and the economy. With its rigorous data and clear recommendations, this volume illuminates new ground for future education policies and research.







Women's Colleges in the United States


Book Description

Women's colleges have had a long and prestigious role in the education of American women. This volume offers insights into the continuing significant role of women's colleges in higher education. It provides a brief history of women's colleges in the U.S. in the context of social and legislative issues that have affected the country, examines how women's colleges have managed to survive in an era of coeducational institutions and equal opportunities in education, and identifies the unique features of women's colleges that make them attractive to young women. Charts and tables. Extensive bibliography.




Historical Dictionary of Women's Education in the United States


Book Description

The history of women's education in the United States presents a continuous effort to move from the periphery to the mainstream, and this book examines both formal and informal opportunities for girls and women. Through an introductory essay and nearly 250 alphabetically arranged entries, this reference book examines institutions, persons, ideas, events, and movements in the history of women's education in the United States. The volume spans the colonial era to the present, exploring settings from formal institutions such as schools and colleges to informal associations such as suffrage groups and reform organizations where women gained skills and used knowledge. A full picture of women's educational history presents their work in mainstream institutions, sex-segregated schools, and informal organizations that served as alternative educational settings. Educational history varies greatly for women of different races, classes, and ethnicities. The experience of some groups has been well documented. Thus entries on the Seven Sisters women's colleges and the reform organizations of the Progressive Era convey wide historical detail. Other women have been studied only recently. Thus entries on African American school founders or women teachers present considerable new information that scholars interpret against a wider context. Finally, some women's history has yet to be adequately explored. Hispanic American women and Catholic teaching sisters are discussed in entries that highlight historical questions still remaining. Each entry is written by an expert contributor and concludes with a brief bibliography. The volume closes with a timeline of women's educational history and a list of important general works for further reading.